Durham County Council has approved a planning application by FaulknerBrowns Architects, on behalf of Durham University, for the addition of a new state-of-the-art Centre for Teaching and Learning.
The building, at Lower Mountjoy, will host a wide range of learning environments and technologies, including new classrooms that will allow students to share courses in real time with students from peer institutions around the world. There will be lecture theatres, teaching rooms, education laboratories where new teaching and training methods will be developed, student learning zones and catering facilities. Outside of the academic term, the building’s facilities will allow the University to host major events and academic conferences.
The site lies adjacent to the Durham City Centre conservation area and is in close proximity to views of the Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site. The design for the building has been carefully considered to respond to the existing context – including the local scale and character of the architecturally or historically important buildings close to the site. In consultation with the Local Planning Authority the design team has developed a modularized massing strategy to create a sensitively scaled development, sympathetic of its local context. The modular building concept – a kit of parts – consists of twelve blocks of equal size and scale; each oriented individually in response to the site.
The materials proposed provide a transition between the modern University buildings nearby, and the more traditional and classical architecture of the buildings that are adjacent to the site. The facilities will provide a welcoming, secure and stimulating environment for students, with learning environments that range from active to quiet, and group to individual, as they move throughout the building.
Andrew Kane, Partner at FaulknerBrowns, said: “With a diverse range of world class environments, the Lower Mountjoy Centre will provide an exciting new venue to enhance the teaching and learning experience at Durham University.“